Best Daiwa Fishing Reel Reviews

Daiwa is a brand that I feel is often underlooked by many anglers as they do not get as much press as some of the other major brands like Penn and Shimano.

The bottom line to us anglers is that it does not matter how much press you can buy it is what kind of product can you produce and what is your price point.

A few of my favorite reels are manufactured by Daiwa such as the Daiwa BG and the Daiwa Fuego LT for reels that are in the $100 range and deliver excellent quality.

Daiwa is known to produce both quality spinning reels as well as baitcasting reels and conventional reels.  A common thread between all of these seems to be just how smooth they are when it comes to the spinning of the spool, this can be attributed to their proprietary MagSealed ball bearing technology.

Below are our top reviews on Daiwa products as well as a brief History of Daiwa.  If you are looking for a review on a particular model reel and do not see it please let us know.

Best Daiwa Spinning Reel Reviews

Daiwa Ballistic LT

Retail $229

The Daiwa Ballistic LT is classified as a mid-tier priced spinning reel that is in the lightweight category or reels designed specifically for inshore fishing.  If you are looking for a quality lightweight reel that will withstand harsh saltwater conditions this is a great choice due to its MagSealed technology.  Another thing that makes this reel stand out is the tremendous drag available, 22 lbs in a size 2500.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1000 - 600025.5 - 34.55.1:1 - 6.2:111 - 26.46+15.8 - 11.1

Daiwa BG SW

Retail $109

The Daiwa BG SW is one of the best reels we have ever reviewed when it comes to getting your money’s worth.  So what makes this a great deal?  The reel is solidly built with an aluminum housing that protects an oversized main DigiGear that is smooth as silk.  The waterproof carbon ATD drag system delivers up to 33 lbs of fish stopping drag.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1500 - 800028.3 - 48.75.3:1 - 5.7:14.4 - 336+18.5 - 30

Daiwa Certate LT

Retail $449

The Daiwa Certate LT is one of the finest lightweight freshwater fishing reels on the market today. With many features and quality found in reels up to 2x to 3x the price, I feel that the Daiwa Certate is well worth the asking price if you are seeking a top quality freshwater reel that can occasionally be used in saltwater.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelRetrieve
(in)
Gear
Ratio
Max Drag
(lbs)
Ball
Bearings
Weight (oz.)
2500-400032.5" - 39.1"5.2:1 - 6.2:122 - 26.410CRBB, 1RB7.2 - 8.3

Daiwa Exceler LT

Retail $79

The Daiwa Exceler LT is one of the best lightweight freshwater fishing reels on the market today for under $80. With many features and quality found in reels up to 2x the price, I feel that the Daiwa Exceler LT offers a great value for a freshwater angler that wants a quality reel with great drag (up to 24 lbs) without breaking the bank.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz.)
EXLT1000D - EXLT4000D-C25.5" - 32.5"5.2:1 - 6.2:111 - 26.45 + 16.4 - 8.4

Daiwa Fuego LT

Retail $99

Daiwa’s Hot, Light and Tough reel delivers in so many areas.  I like to fish the 2500 which has an amazing 22 lbs of drag in a compact design that tips the scales at just 7.2 oz, all at a price that fits any serious anglers budget.  Being predominantly an inshore fisherman I like the oversized smooth DigiGear that is protected from the saltwater with Daiwa’s MagSealed technology.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
1000 - 400025.5 - 34.55.2:1 - 6.2:18 - 26.56+16.4 - 8.4

Daiwa Saltist

Retail $199

If you are looking for a mid-tier priced reel that has the durability to stand up to larger pelagic species this is it.  The nearly waterproof MagSeal technology is used in the main shaft & line roller to keep the saltwater out of the proprietary “HardBodyz” body and side cover so that the corrosion resistant bearing will continue to spin freely for years.   READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
2500 - 800033.2 - 53.35.3:1 - 5.7:115 - 338+19.5 - 30

Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT

Retail $199

The Daiwa Saltist Back Bay LT is designed specifically for Back Bay or inshore fishing  This is one of the smoothest reels we have ever tested.  The nearly waterproof MagSeal technology is used in the main shaft to keep the saltwater out of the all-aluminum body and side cover so that the buttery smooth bearings will continue to spin freely for years. This reel is lighter than the Daiwa Saltist and delivers on performance  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
3000 - 400033.2 - 35.35.6:115.56+19.9 - 10.6

Daiwa Tatula LT

Retail $189

The Daiwa Tatula LT spinning reel is a very good quality spinning reel that it targeted at the freshwater angler that wants to fish very lightweight tackle. There are many of the higher-end components from Daiwa incorporated in this reel such as their Zaion carbon fiber and oversized Digigear.  If you are seeking a mid-tier priced reel do not overlook this one. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz.)
1000-400030.5 - 39.16.2:111 - 26.46 + 15.8 - 7.4

Best Daiwa Baitcasting Reel Reviews

Daiwa Tatula 100

Retail $159

The Daiwa Tatula was first brought to market in 2013 using the “Project T” marketing campaign.  Project T introduced the T Wing System which reduced the friction caused by traditional level wind systems.  The Tatual or Tatula 100 is the entry level in this series of reels and is a mid-priced baitcasting reel.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioDrag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
522.9 -30.55.4:1 - 7.3:113.27+17.9

Daiwa Tatula Type-R

Retail $179

The Tatula Type-R is the next step up in the Tatula series of reels and replaces 2 of the standard ball bearings with 2 Corrosion Resistant Ball Bearings.  The Tatual Type-R is 0.4oz lighter and also adds in the option of a super fast 8.1:1 gear ratio for working those topwater lures and jerk baits.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioDrag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
426.3 - 33.96.3:1 - 8.1:113.27+17.6

Daiwa Tatula Type-HD

Retail $199

The Tatula Type-HD is the “Heavy Duty” version of the Tatula series of reels and offers you a larger spool that adds an additional 27% line capacity for fishing those larger topwater lures and crankbaits.  Speaking of cranking baits the oversized 100mm power handle makes it easy to get those baits back quickly all day long. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioDrag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
428.1 - 32.26.3:1 - 7.3:113.27+18.1

Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R

Retail $179

The Daiwa Tatula CT Type R is a souped-up version of the Daiwa Tatula CT and includes not only the higher speed gearing like the Daiwa Tatula Type R but also has corrosion-resistant ball bearings and an aluminum spool.  The reel weighs in at approximately 0.2 oz less and comes with a sporty red paint job.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioDrag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
626.3 - 33.96.3:1 - 8.1:113.27+17.2

Daiwa Lexa 300 / Lexa 400

Retail $249

If you are targeting larger species of fish and need more line capacity as well as more drag that the smaller Tatula models then the Lexa 300 and 400 are just what you are looking for.  The Lexa 500 is specifically targeted towards those fishermen that want to throw those larger baits and lures.  Both models are well suited for saltwater fishing.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioDrag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
300 - 40025.1 - 37.75.1:1 - 7.1:122 - 256+110.5 - 16.2

Daiwa Zillion SV TW

Retail $299

The Daiwa Zillion SV TW is one of the higher-end low profile baitcasting reels from Daiwa.  This is one of the lightest weight baitcasters thanks to the SZaion carbon fiber body and tips the scale at just 6.8 oz.  What really sets this reel aside is the Air brake System that makes it almost impossible to get a backlash when casting this beauty.  READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
2 Speeds26.3 - 30.56.3:1 - 7.3:113.28+16.9

Best Daiwa Conventional Reel Reviews

Daiwa Saltist Black Gold Star Drag

Retail $239

The Daiwa Saltist is a very good quality conventional style star drag reel that has a compact one-piece aluminum frame designed for strength and durability.  The carbon fiber ultimate tournament drag system offers up to 19.8 lbs of drag.  As with most Daiwa reels, this has a very smooth feel to it and has a very good centrifugal anti-backlash control as well. READ THE FULL REVIEW

ModelsRetrieve (in)Gear RatioMax Drag (lb)Ball BearingsWeight (oz)
20-5035-486.1:1-6.4:115.4-19.84CRBB+1RB16.5-22.7

Daiwa Brand History

Daiwa was founded in 1958 in Japan and has always been considered one of the leaders in product innovation.  Early on in its history, Daiwa was the company that developed the “Open Faced reel” in 1965 that we are so familiar with today.  This concept of putting the spool on the outside of the reel was truly a break thru as it allowed for more line to be loaded onto the spool with a faster spin created a greater retrieval rate as well as a better feel.

When it comes to innovation, Daiwa has lead the way in both design as well as the materials used in the manufacturing process.  Daiwa became very interested in carbon fibers and how they could be used in both their reels and their fishing rods.

Daiwa was the first manufacturer to incorporate carbon fibers into both fishing reel bodies as well as the reels rotors.  By using these densely packed carbon fibers, Daiwa was able to reduce weight while still retaining strength.  In 2007 Daiwa introduced their proprietary material called Zaion which is a high-density carbon fiber material that is stronger than metal in many aspects. 

When picking up a Daiwa reel today and giving it a spin you will notice just how smooth it spins, this is due to their sealed ball bearing system.  In 2010 Daiwa used “space engineering” to create a dust and water resistant sealed ball bearing system they call “MagSealed”.  The MagSealed ball bearing system uses Daiwa’s proprietary MagOil to keep the reeling feeling and spinning like new for years.

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